most of the time, strings importance is WAYYYYY overrated?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by Rozroz, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    if a 60 yrs old flat hitter who changes his strings once a year cannot feel any difference and still control and bagel me forever, while i feel my strings already dead after 8 hrs and "my control has changed", something must be really exaggerated here imo.

    discuss!
     
    #1
  2. danotje

    danotje Rookie

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    I think the difference is "can play with" and "playability". I can play with any string in any condition. However, I like my hybrid of IBS/OGSM after about 30 mins of play best. It just feels great. I'm getting both the pace and spin that I'm asking for. In fact, I get a bit of a boost from having a set up in the sweet spot. Hence, I just play better. Good vibes.

    Also, I hit with a lot of topsin. Pace is easy enough to generate with anything, and so is spin, too, albeit to a lesser degee, but to get that extra angle or bounce with massive spin, strings have an impact. I've been testing out some different polys and found that SPPP requires a lot more effort to get good spin than BHBR. However, the feel of SPPP was far superior to me. Look around the boards a bit, and that certainly isn't the usual finding. It all boils down to choice which I think is largely based on feel. That's why if a rec player wants to use a poly, then why not?
     
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  3. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    once a year ? dude - find out what he uses and post pls. :)
     
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  4. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    i really think this is strange.
    i DO understand all about the great feeling fresh strings have and those differences between them, but if it means almost nothing in terms of keeping the ball in and win games, then i guess i have to re-think the whole process.
    or maybe those big differences arise mainly when using poly?
    or maybe when someone has only flat strokes it doesn't really matter?
    (in fact, this guy has no real technique! he told me he just learned to play and hit as it came out for him. and it's goddamn effective even with his lousy year old nylon or whatever strings)
     
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  5. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    It has nothing to do with strings. He's just a better player than you. Roddick can defeat any of us in a match with a frying pan, because he's better.

    Strings aren't a measure of someone's skills on the court. They're just a tool.
     
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  6. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    IMO, a "flatter" hitter would be more affected by tension and playability loss from old, dead strings bcoz he would have less margin of error on his shots. It sounds like your crafty opponent has uncanny ability to adjust to the playing characteristics of his string set-up and his success vs you is undermining your confidence in what you rely on. If you're doing well vs other opponents it's not the equipment issues that need to be addressed. I'd work on searching for the little "chinks in his armor"...what shots he handles less easily (I hit fairly flat and don't like stuff high to my 2hbh and changing depths of shots; would that frustrate him?).
     
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  7. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    i know the old frying pan example, obviously he's better than me and has more experience and feel of the game,
    what i meant is that i was astonished how come he doesn't feel or care for changes in his string.. while i really notice a difference and feel i need to change. i know a big part of it is psychological, but still- if he can handle a lousy string and it does nothing to his game (and never have), why am i bothering with any changes at all? only because he's better than me?
    this usually suppose to be the opposite (pros have to change after a few games etc..)

    yea, i'm wondering on that flat/spin relationship vs the strings, and what you say have far more logic than the opposite- still confused.
    about the game strategy, i'll discuss this more on the tips forum i guess. right now i think i'll take a break from him. it was ridiculous really:
    five or six sets with the last ones taking 5 minutes each :(
    the funny thing was that in our previous matches i managed to take one set from him 6-3 when i played really perfect.

    i mainly wondering about the strings issues for now.
     
    #7
  8. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Let me give you a perfect example. Strings are only important enough to keep the space in the hoop from being open, BUT, the can make or break your experience. As I mentioned elsewhere, I tried Yonex PTP and it felt like rubbish. I could still hit all the shots I know how to hit, but it just did not feel nice. It felt like hitting with plastic. I then restrung to my favorite Scorpion, and I'm not kidding, the level of fun shot up. I get the feedback I'm looking for and the feel I'm looking for, and that's worth everything to me. Could I win a match with the Yonex that I could with the Scorpion? Yes. Would I be enjoying it as much? Nope.
     
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  9. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I knew nothing about strings before I found this site. I played as a junior for years with full beds of POSG or natural gut. I beat a lot of people, but I will say that I am a better player now.

    If you are using full poly and he is using syn gut or natural gut then that is a reason he never switches. But how are you a 4.5 getting double bagled over and over by a guy who doesn't ever break strings?
     
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  10. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    he is simply better. what does it has to do with breaking strings?
    (he's a match partner not a 4.5 league player)
    SPIN is the major string breaker. flat is not (or far far far less).
    most chances he'll beat most of you here.
    again, WHEN my serve is grooving, WHEN i hit deep enough and WHEN i'm focused enough, i COULD take a set of him once in a while.
    but i only wanted to discuss the strings angle.
     
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  11. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    if we are talking about the FUN factor i totally agree.
    so you're saying you could take you dead strings racquet and play the same?
    well maybe that's indeed a factor of enough experience and game level.
     
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  12. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    Have you tried textured or geometric polys? I've had good luck with SP Tornado, a heptagonal textured poly that holds tension really well, especially when you mimic the Fed setup (nattie main/poly cross). Expensive with the nattie but worth it if you don't shred it quickly.
     
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  13. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I love this.

    Breaking strings has zero to do with results on court. Guga Kuerten used to have 3 racquets in his bag, all strung the same with ALU. 3, that's it. I don't ever remember seeing him break strings. I dare say he was a slightly better than a 4.5.

    In the 'old days' with wooden frames, you had one frame. Strings were densely patterned and you would rarely break gut. If you did, you either borrowed a frame or quit playing. This, of course, was before league play.

    Breaking or not breaking strings has zero to do with winning or losing. If a guy hits through the ball fairly level, he will not move the mains enough to cause excessive sawing by the crosses. My old doubles partner was like this. He could play with 17 gauge syn gut and never broke a string. He and I played 5.0 together. I strung his racquets once a year just because he did my taxes.

    I completely understand where you're coming from. I'm 54 and play occasionally get invited to play with some 20-30 something ex-college players. I string for a couple of them. One in particular plays with a Babolat Pure Drive that is absolutely about to disintegrate. He knocks the cover off the ball. The 1st time I strung for him I asked him what he wanted in it and what tension. He said whatever's in there now, and tight. It was Prince synthetic 16 and I strung it at the top of the recommended tension. I asked him how it felt after I gave it to him. He said "OK". This guy also wraps his over grips bottom up and uses the sticky tab to fasten it at the top.

    It's guys like this that made me start to question my "obsession" with string. A close buddy of mine had the same experience. We were both using natural gut. He started using Prince Syn Gut Poly @ $5.25 and I started playing around with plain jane syn gut. I did find that using Prince Beast helped me off the ground and I may go to the $5 poly syn combo. But yeah, we both were going WTF?

    I went back and tried my old go to, Timo. I hit really well with it, but after that, my arm was worn out for two days. So, I decided to try some newer polys and did find that the newer ones give you a lot of the poly benefits without the pain.

    Also, and just BTW, the buddy of mine has a son who is ranked top 10 in the South in the 12's. He was stringing his frames with gut/poly cause his son wanted it. The pro he works with was telling him he should spend the money elsewhere. His son went to a regional tournament. In one match, he broke strings in 3 racquets. My friend cut him over to the $5.25 string. He asked his son how it felt. His son said "OK." He hasn't missed a lick, but he's still taking names and kicking ***.

    On the flip side of this, there are a couple of 5.0 really good guys I string for who refuse to let me change their setup. They demand full poly at a high tension and both of them are constantly b!tching about their arms hurting. They just won't change, so maybe the setup is producing results they don't feel they could get otherwise.

    In summary, yeah, strings and tension are as important IMO as the frame. For some people, like the guys I mentioned above, they're good enough that they can do it with anything. The rest of us do probably spend too much time trying to find nirvana.
     
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  14. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I should add that when I used the C10, I had a go to setup and probably played better than anytime ever. I was using Luxilon Timo 17 @ 54 and then cut over to Pacific Poly Force Original 17 @ 54 which plays identically. Unfortunately, while my results were great, my arm was not. :)
     
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  15. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I used to play a 5.0 once a week who used a full job of PSGD 16. He would even double pull the strings when he strung it up.
     
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  16. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    indeed string breaking has nada to do with level, why would you think that PP?

    so what you're saying is that the old guy can play his flat game on his year old strings.
    SO-
    is this because his game DOESN'T NEED the string "extra help"?
    i don't get this. if the string was fresh and now it's dry and lose, how come it doesn't bother him and his game is untroubled? it's either he don't need any benefit of any string put on, or he subconsciously adjusts to the string change. if he told me "i don't really care about the string and just change it after 1-2 years"- i don't see any other option.
     
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  17. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    You love this. LOL. Ok man..a guy plays with a syn gut for a year and doesn't break strings and you use Kuertan, a doubles partner as an example and wooden frames as well.

    I am sorry but it is ONE YEAR of a guy not breaking strings in 2012 facing modern styles of play. I have never seen that before personally. Maybe he uses kevlar or something. But to play singles at a 4.5 level means you are dealing with some hot serves and heavy strokes and will break a string within a years time.

    Roz, I guess you'd have to describe this guys game better. The best old guy I play is a master of placement and slice and he breaks his strings at a decent rate.

    I dont think breaking strings means someone is good or bad. But I do think a higher level player will break string more than once a year due to the above that I described.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
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  18. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I am going to throw that exact setup into one of my blades just because I still believe it at worst to be a great "bailout" setup if your 2 main sticks break strings, and at best, your daily go to.
     
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  19. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    i can consider couple of things..

    first, i don't think a decent 4.5 level can't 'survive' without a 'power' game.
    if you have decent serves and good placement you can quite succeed.
    same goes for the strokes. if you have good placement and game 'vision' you could outwin many power players.

    i can describe the guy's game:
    ALL FLAT strokes, no spin at all. no real technique just self learned very efficient LOW strokes. he claims he started playing and taught himself tennis at 35. has stable and placed serves. i can attack the second but he control my game atm. and when in need manages to run and prepare very well to most balls, in worst case defend them deep enough to recover.
    doesn't slice much, only when needed. punish every weakness. trying to paint the lines and does it well 90% of the times, low and flat, not necessarily with a lot of power.
    imo this way of playing saves a string from breaking for a long time, and apparently doesn't effect his game at all even if the string's done.

    i'll probably video a game sometime and post it at the tips forum to think how to win him. but we're talking string effectiveness here, so...
     
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  20. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah Id love to see it. I mean a year with no string breakage is tough to pull off if you play a lot. It really is.

    I see you keep using power I guess since that's my name. But I never said that is only why strings break. I break my strings faster playing guys who serve hard and hit hard too. Which is why I am curious who this guy is playing to never mishit a heavy serve or groundie.
     
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  21. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    I think we all have it wrong...Rozroz, is your nemesis named "Roy" and does he have his stick emblazoned "Wonderboy"? It sounds like this may be the case bcoz he is "puring" everything if he's not taking out a stringjob more than once per annum!
     
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  22. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    What you aren't considering is it doesn't matter how you hit the ball, it matters how he hits the ball. If he comes through the ball in a fairly level stroke, all the work in the world isn't going to hurt his strings unless you hit hard enough to hit through them. Play long enough and with enough people and you'll see it.
     
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  23. netguy

    netguy Semi-Pro

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    There are two things I put attention on a string, playability window and comfort....anything else (spin potential, power, control etc) is irrelevant to me since I can adjust my footwork & technique to generate the shot I want it to... when I can't, it is my mistake (not the strings) or my opponent is better than me. period.
     
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  24. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I actually did consider that and you didnt read what I wrote. I have been playing a long time, but thanks.
     
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  25. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    i don't think that at a 4.5 level you have to return a serve with too much string grinding. he just put his racquet and return a deep enough high ball for the opponent to have to shoot a good stroke from the baseline and then he's already ready to spot my shot. maybe you and many other hit a return with a lot of spin? i dunno.
     
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  26. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    nope. he seems to me as a very honest fella that just have enough experience (25 years or so?), toughness, self confidence but not a lot of equipment knowledge. he told me he started playing from nothing, challenge the strongest players at his club until he won them all. but who knows?
     
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  27. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    but this is the whole reason for the thread, no?
    if this guy playing way way over his string playability window and doesn't give a crap about it, how can he still play very stable?
     
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  28. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    It is truly an average setup in every respect but the cost is nice.
     
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  29. netguy

    netguy Semi-Pro

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    I guess there are some guys who are immune to string playability window dropping over time and have iron arms...I don't have those skills
     
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  30. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    Maybe his yearly re-string came just before you played him. Check back with him in 10 months.
     
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  31. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    huh, that's one option :)
    but i suspect it's not that of a big deal with him.
     
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  32. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    think it's time for this old player to get the BITD fave string for grins and giggles - Leoina 66 or 77. :)
     
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  33. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Aside from dead poly, yeah, pretty much. The main differences I see between strings are the amount of control, amount of power and amount of feel. All of those, however, are relative. If the feedback I'm getting is not what I like, then I rate the string lower in certain areas. Two good examples for you: NRG2 vs. X-1 and Genesis Black Magic vs. WC Scorpion. In the first instance, I played with NRG2 for years and even into college a bit. Heck, when I signed up here, I was still playing full multi for the most part. I'd discovered NRG2 some time in high school and was told that X-1 was the same but with better longevity. Since I absolutely shred NRG2, that sounded like a dream come true. Err...not so much. It does not have the same crisp and responsive feel that I like. I just had more confidence with NRG2 because I knew what to expect when I hit the ball. NRG2 was all over the place, but if I had to play a match with it, I would not be able to blame the strings for losing. Similar story with Genesis Black Magic. This is a great poly, and if memory serves me right, one of drakulie's favorites. However, it is not for me. It is far too soft feeling. I don't like the plush feeling on impact, I like a crisp "bite" feeling. Only a certain few strings can give me that response, Scorpion being the best of the lot for me. Others are Pro Supex BAM, WC B5E, Tourna BHB7 and Signum Pro Tornado.

    However, since Scorpion makes my shots come off the racquet exactly the way I want my shots to do so, it's the string for me. Other strings do things better or worse than Scorpion in areas that I like, but none are overall far above average in all categories. Would I be able to win a match with Black Magic? Absolutely! Would I be having the same amount of fun? No, because when I crack a winner with Scorpion, it just feels so much more satisfying due to the feedback than any other string I've used. That does not mean it's the best string (hardly), but it's the best for me.
     
    #33
  34. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    True, but one year is a long time. I know of college players playing synthetics who don't break them for many many weeks, and I also know of club level players who break poly once a week. Hitting against heavy hitters at the 5.0 level for a year should at least notch a synthetic string to the point of breaking. I do, however, know personal exceptions to that rule.
     
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  35. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    so let's say this guy plays some cheap syn gut or nylon or whatever and manages to pull through with it for a crazy amount of time thanks to his particular abilities, which ever they are.

    what you're saying is that if had used a poly string, after it would go dead things will HAVE to get ugly for him.. right?
     
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  36. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    Roz - how many hours on the strings in a year? or how often does he play and for how long?
     
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  37. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    No I did not say that. What I said is that I'm ignoring poly because it's a very unique string material. I know of players using year old poly strings simply because they haven't broken. Year old ALU even, and they can still rally just fine. They just don't realize what they're missing.
     
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  38. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    this 'magic mike' plays quite a lot. around 6 hours a week.
    ATM i don't think he exaggerates or talking too much BS.
     
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  39. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    ok, i get that.
    so if you put feel and pleasure aside, there are NO RULES to a player's level (well up to 5.5 i would guess) VS strings, right ?
    if that's true then it pretty much closes the case, doesn't it?
     
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  40. ATP100

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    Easy Answer: Yes
     
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  41. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Not at all. People dont just use strings just because they feel good. They are looking for a predictable response that enhances their game. What if you prefer to play at a tension in the lower 50s since the trajectory is better for your strokes? Well in this case it will be a lot tougher to control a multi or syn gut in that situation.

    Also, the spin and control from polyester is substantially better and this translates to more confident hitting on court. As we know, tennis is all about mental focus and executing under pressure.

    So while you can definitely play with cheap syn gut, you will notice a rather big difference at the 4.5 level with poly even just in the mains. That difference will result in an improved on court performance for many players.
     
    #41
  42. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Correlation? Absolutely. You hit harder, you stress the strings more, they fail aka break sooner. Higher level players hit harder than beginners and do so more consistently. Now, there are many an exception to this rule including my coach when I was living in MA this summer. He is a 4.5-5.0 and used to coach D2 tennis, and would simply rely on anticipation and redirection to beat kids the age of his own kids. Played with a big stiff Wilson Surge 100 with 16g syn gut and didn't shred strings because he didn't need to. Hit flat forehands and only slice BHs. So yes, if you're looking for a correlation, then yes, a higher level player will pop strings quickly compared to a lower level one (shanking and poly aside). As an absolute rule, there is none.
     
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  43. SVP

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    Bad Grammar

    RR, I think I agree with some of your points in this thread but the atrocious grammar is making it difficult for me to follow you.:-?
     
    #43
  44. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    ooops, sorry for those. not my native language and some written via the phone.. have patience please :)
    besides, it's not that atrocious! come one, there are far worse.
     
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  45. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    Look. It may be superstition, but it seems that strings are important to the pros who are trying to make a living playing tennis. At the top level, most pros find a string combination that works for them and often stay with that combination for years. Then they switch racquets during a match at specific times to make sure they have the right tension.
    Yes, a good player can play with just about any set of strings, just as a good player can play well with just about any racquet. They will generally play their best tennis with one racquet and one type of string(s).
     
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  46. SVP

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    Come "one?" C'mon, man! I'm agreeing with some of your points but I'm telling you, you weaken your position with the grammar.:(
     
    #46
  47. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    obviously at a pro level every inch counts and so any subtle change in strings is noticeable.

    but for the sake of the argument:
    if i went and switched racquets with this partner of mine-
    by the differences between us he'll STILL play around the same level and easily beat me-
    because he has his stable game with or without fresh or quality strings and a decent stick, while i'll have more trouble adjusting and struggling.. no?
     
    #47
  48. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    hey, THIS ONE was a typo! don't be so harsh! don't mix up fast typing mistakes with grammar! i usually pay lots of attention to grammar with the limit of my English knowledge.. and what does this has to do with weakening my position?
    you are way to strict. i read posts here written far worse than mine and never see you discipline them ;)
     
    #48
  49. SVP

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    I don't remark about those other posts because those posts don't interest me, brother. You, on the other hand, have touched on an interesting topic to me (importance of strings) and so that's why I'm calling you on the grammar.
     
    #49
  50. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    oh, ok. in that case, i give you full authority ;)
    so can you please tell me the points that you do not agree with me regarding the strings topic?
     
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